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Southern Miss Hosts South Mississippi Christmas Classic

Dec. 20, 2009

South Mississippi Christmas Classic Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team will host the South Mississippi Christmas Classic, Dec. 21-23 in Gulfport, Miss. at Bert Jenkins Gymnasium.

The Classic begins on Monday, Dec. 21, when Canisius faces North Florida at 4:30 p.m. The Golden Eagles open the tournament with New Orleans at 7 p.m. The following day, UNO faces North Florida at 4:30 p.m., and Southern Miss plays Canisius at 7 p.m. The Classic ends on Wednesday with Canisius-New Orleans at 4:30 p.m. and Southern Miss-North Florida at 7 p.m.

Southern Miss enters the South Mississippi Christmas Classic with a 7-1 record after defeating Louisiana-Lafayette, 71-53, last Tuesday night at Reed Green Coliseum.

Junior forward Josimar Ayarza led the way for the Golden Eagles, scoring a season-high 18 points while grabbing four rebounds and blocking two shots. Junior forward Gary Flowers recorded his second straight double-double, scoring 14 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.

Flowers is tenth in Conference USA with 14.9 points. He is sixth in field goal percentage, connecting on 53.1-percent of his shots, fourth in rebounding with 8.5 boards per game and fifth in blocks (1.8).

Bolden is second on the team with 13.9 points per game and 6.7 rebounds. He is also third in the league in free throw percentage, hitting 85.4-percentage from the line. Johnson and junior R.L. Horton are also contributing 10.0 points apiece.

As a team, Southern Miss is scoring 74.8 points per game, while allowing 62.2. The Golden Eagles are second in the conference in rebounding, pulling down 40.9 boards per game, while giving up just 29.5 to the opposition. The Black and Gold are connecting on 46.3-percent of their shots, while the opposition is hitting just 40.8-percent.

Head coach Larry Eustachy is in his sixth season at the helm of the Southern Miss men's basketball program. He has compiled an 82-81 (.503) record during his time as head coach. In 18 years, Eustachy has an overall record of 342-226 (.602).

New Orleans enters South Mississippi Christmas Classic with a 5-5 record, 0-2 in the Sun Belt Conference. The Privateers have lost their last three games following a 78-76 loss to Troy. Senior guard Billy Humphrey posted a game-high 31 points to lead UNO. Sophomore guard Charles Cartouche added 17 points and junior guard Devin McDonald contributed eight points and a game-high five assists.

Humphrey leads the Sun Belt in scoring with 19.1 points per game. He also averages 4.6 rebounds and is fifth in the conference in free throw percentage (.879). Cartouche is scoring 11.6 points, while freshman guard Carl Blair is dishing out 4.1 assists, good for seventh in the Sun Belt.

As a team, New Orleans is averaging 64.4 points per game, while giving up just 64.6, second lowest in the SBC. The Privateers are connecting on 42.4-percent of its shots while holding the opposition to 40.0-percent.

Head coach John Pasternak is in his third season at the helm of the New Orleans men's basketball program, compiling a 35-37 (.486) record during his tenure as head coach.

The Canisius Golden Griffins enter the South Mississippi Charismas Classic with a 4-5 record, 1-1 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

The Golden Griffins have dropped their last three games following an 86-77 double-overtime defeat to Duquesne. Leading the way was senior guard Frank Turner with 23 points and eight rebounds. Junior forward Greg Logins and junior guard Julius Coles added 15 points and nine rebounds apiece

Turner leads the MAAC in scoring with 17.1 points per game and steals with 2.4. He is also third in assists with 5.3, while grabbing 5.3 rebounds. Coles is second in the conference in scoring with 17.0 points while pulling down 4.7 boards. Logins is contributing 12.1 points and 6.9 rebounds, which is good for eighth in the conference.

As a team, the Griffs score 67.4 points per game while allowing 70.9. CC leads the MAAC in rebounding, grabbing 38.6 boards per game, while giving up just 36.6. Canisius is connecting on just 40.1-percent of its shots, while the opposition scores 44.3-percent of the time.

Head coach Tom Parrotta is in his fourth season leading the Canisius men's basketball program. He currently holds a 34-68 (.333) record.

North Florida enters the South Mississippi Christmas Classic with a 1-7 record, 0-2 in the Atlantic Sun. The Ospreys have dropped their last six games after falling 78-51, Saturday afternoon at Marquette.

Freshman forward Andy Diaz led UNF with 14 points and nine rebounds. Senior guard Stan Januska added 10 points for the Ospreys. Senior guard Germaine Sparkes had nine points and a game-high four steals.

Januska lead North Florida with 9.6 points per game. Freshman guard Jerron Granberry is second with 9.3 points, while Diaz is scoring 9.0 points and leading the team with 4.6 rebounds.

As a team, the Ospreys are averaging 55.9 points per game while allowing 72.4. UNF is grabbing 26.9 rebounds per game, while giving up just 32.2. North Florida is connecting on 45.2-percent of its shots, while the opposition scores 47.1-percent of the time.

Head coach Matthew Driscoll is in his first season leading the North Florida men's basketball program. He currently holds a 1-7 (.125) record. In five years as a head coach, he is 27-84 (.243).

Southern Miss and New Orleans will meet for the 23rd time, with the series deadlocked at 11 wins apiece. The Eagles have won the last two meetings. In neutral site games, Southern Miss is 2-1. This is the second meeting between the two teams in the South Mississippi Christmas Classic. Southern Miss won the first meeting, 84-62, in 2007.

This will be the first meetings for Southern Miss with both Canisius and North Florida.

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